Dr. Hyman’s research made sense to me, so I thought I’d give his diet a try. With little less than a month until my follow-up doctor’s appointment, I wanted to jumpstart my progress. I read his 10-Day Detox Diet, which cuts out not only the inflammation triggers of gluten, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol, but also all grains, most fruit, legumes, and starchy vegetables, to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels. I welcomed the return of humanely-produced lean protein and an almost laughable amount of healthy fats — nearly 20 g per meal — which was absolutely shocking to someone who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, when fat was the enemy. Could this really produce results? I was about to find out.
Some detox plans last a few days, other last may last a few weeks. One of the more popular detox plans is “Master Cleanse.” If you’re a fan of Beyoncé, you might recall that she did the “Master Cleanse” in order to slim down for the film Dreamgirls. “Master Cleanse” consists of drinking at least two liters each day of the following concoction: lemon juice, maple syrup (the real stuff), and cayenne pepper. Oh, and don’t forget the laxative tea and salt water flushes. The premise of this plan, as with many detox plans, is to flush out toxins, clean out your colon, and provide just enough calories (from the maple syrup) so that you don’t pass out.
Detoxing for a day or even a few days is probably not too harmful…if you’re in good health. However, detox diets aren’t recommended for anyone with chronic conditions, like diabetes, or heart, liver, or kidney disease, or for certain populations, like pregnant women, children or teenagers, and older adults. Short-term side effects of detox diets include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, and swings in blood glucose levels. Longer-term, and more serious, effects include loss of lean muscle mass, irregular heartbeat, heart or kidney damage, bowel perforation (if enemas are involved), infections, and severe dehydration. So, resist the temptation to detox and remember that any benefits you might derive from it will be very short lived. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of the emotional support that I received from my mother and daughter. After I recovered from the diabetic coma, they took care of me when I was released from the hospital. Their support allowed me to “detox” my mind and remove all of the negative thoughts that I was getting from my endocrinologist.